The police have a fairly rigorous set of guidelines within which they operate. From the U.S. Constitution to federal laws, all law enforcement must abide by the rules or run the risk that their work gets thrown out.
Mistakes happen, even within the police department. Unfortunately, some errors occur more frequently than others. Learn about some of the most common mistakes police officers make while doing their job.
Stopping a vehicle unlawfully
One of the most common mistakes officers make is stopping a vehicle without a legal reason. The police are not given the power to pull vehicles over on a hunch. Instead, there must exist valid and lawful reasons for the stop. The officer must either witness a crime, such as a traffic infraction or have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is up to no good. Without this, a judge may throw out evidence the police discover during the stop.
Failing to read the Miranda warning
The Miranda warning is a well-known collection of rights the police must read to anyone they have in custody. This applies to anyone who:
- Is put in handcuffs
- Is made to go into the back of a locked vehicle
- Is told he or she is not free to leave
As soon as the police detain someone, the officer must read the Miranda warning. If the police do not inform the person of his or her rights upon taking him or her into custody, the case may not proceed further in court.
People who find themselves facing criminal charges may want to commit the actions of the police to memory. Any errors may help when it comes to defending the case in court.